Croup: The things nightmares are made of

croup baby

We awoke to the stomach wrenching sound of a tiny voice gasping for air. I bolted upright and reached for the lamp on the nightstand. Chris instinctively scooped up our daughter and held her close, speechless, etching worry lines into his forehead. Her throat sounded full and the more she struggled to take a full breath, the more worked up she became which only worsened her condition.

Every breath drew a hoarse wheeze from her chest. She had colds before, but nothing like this. She wailed with such ferocity it appeared as though her small face was all open mouth. I’ve never felt such fear and worry.

My angel, this precious being, was in so much pain and discomfort and couldn’t tell us what hurt. Likewise, we couldn’t use words to comfort her.

My efforts to comfort her by nursing were in vain. She couldn’t stop screaming and catch her breath long enough to do anything. I held her, rocked her, kissed her. My stomach was one big knot. I shushed  and cried and pleaded with my Father in Heaven to protect and heal my baby.

Working well under pressure, my husband thought to look up her symptoms on his phone and narrowed it down to two possibilities, one of which was croup. Our best case scenario was utilizing our resources and counting on the steam from the shower to clear her tiny congested body.

Chris was so wise and level-headed but I had a front row seat on an emotional roller coaster. The steam seemed to help momentarily but every teeny cough sent my heart instantly into my stomach. It was the sound of one of those baby wheezes that reminded me of the power that could heal and comfort my daughter.

I hurried to wake up my dad who despite the early hour gladly agreed to assist Chris in giving Evelyn a blessing. I have never been more grateful to be surrounded by worthy Priesthood holders. The blessing seemed to calm Evelyn and set my heart at ease.

The rest of the wee morning hours were restless. We got the poor baby to sleep but were afraid of the consequences of taking her out of the steam filled bathroom. All I needed was a few blankets to make a pallet on the floor and I was set to sleep with Evelyn in her blanket lined baby bathtub. Thankfully I didn’t even have a chance to fall asleep before Chris came in and convinced me to get back in bed, that Evelyn would be fine.

The doctor visit the next day confirmed our suspicions of the croup diagnosis and although babies with croup generally have episodes for up to 5 nights, Evelyn slept well every night afterward. I attribute that to her blessing that first night.

I know that I have a Father in Heaven who is watching out for me and my family. I know that a prayer and a blessing from a worthy priesthood holder has the power to heal and directly comfort. Since I had Evelyn I have noticed the little ways in my life that God has been watching out for me and this incident was just one more testament to me that He lives. I am grateful for my faith and grateful for that knowledge. And I am so grateful for a healthy family.